As the project management practice grows at TSP we are often asked what it is and what makes it different versus a PM posting at a typical staffing agency. These questions come from both the candidate and client perspective. We have found that these themes make our offering unique in the project management space.
We are not a contract shop first. Over 80% of our project management placements are permanent. Of the remaining 20% the majority are contract or consultative roles with a client who needs a specific project or program handled by an experienced professional. These are not typically stop gap or short term positions but are tied to the scope and schedule of the client initiative. Within the project management practice those engagements last an average of over a year.
We work with PMs who are looking to accomplish specific objectives in their career.
- Continue growth as a PM or PgM
- PMs are often looking to increase scope of responsibility with projects and programs
- Trying to make a move into new technologies or verticals
- Ability to work remotely, closer to home or to get off the road.
Whatever the career goal we appreciate the needs of each PM individually. That doesn’t mean we won’t share a variety of options but it does mean we know an option we present may not be “perfect” when we make the call to someone for a discussion.
It has taken years for this practice to grow – and that growth has come largely organically. We don’t spend all day every day reaching out to PMs to add them to our database. We started by offering project managers a partner they could leverage who understands their skillset and uses that knowledge to develop stronger client relationships. While we still actively recruit project managers as necessary we meet more via referral than we do via recruiting.
Experienced and flexible candidates. We also work with a group of highly experienced professionals who can truly call themselves consultants. They often have several clients of their own and are looking for smaller engagements to fill their available capacity. We are able to provide a potential pipeline of work to these senior level professionals and they provide us with a level of expertise that helps us better service our clients as well.
We are a long term partner. A great illustration of this is when we do recruit a candidate for a specific opening. If it turns out not to be “the job for you” our intent is to form a partnership with each PM keeping an eye toward future opportunities. We check in regularly depending on each PMs circumstances to strengthen our relationship, to understand any changes to their experience and skills and to have an understanding of what might be of interest to them in a new engagement. We also are happy to leverage our network to help candidates make connections in the region. One way or another we believe we can be of assistance to everyone at some point in their career.
To be clear – if we say we are not a contract shop it does not mean we don’t work with contract project managers. It means we don’t tend to plug short term gaps with PMs. We find full time staff PMs and work with clients looking to staff specific projects or statements of work.